Chelsea’s James handed suspension for abusive words towards match official

Chelsea’s Reece James has been handed a one-match suspension after the club’s captain admitted to verbally abusing a match official in the tunnel following a 1-0 home defeat by Aston Villa last month, the Football Association said on Wednesday.

Chelsea was reduced to 10 men when Malo Gusto was sent off in the 58th minute. Villa eventually took advantage and scored in the 73rd minute as Chelsea had its worst start to a season for more than 40 years.

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James, who was charged by the FA last week, was also fined 90,000 pounds ($108,954).

“The defender admitted that he used improper, insulting and abusive words and behaviour towards a match official in the tunnel after the final whistle,” the FA said in a statement.

James has not played since a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in August after he was sidelined with injury.

Although manager Mauricio Pochettino said he could return this weekend, he will sit out the game away at Burnley.


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